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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 538 pages of information about Janice Meredith.

“He, he, he!” snickered Hennion.  “Kinder gettin’ anxious, heigh?  I calkerlated yer ’d find things sorter pukish.”

“Tush!” retorted Meredith, making a good pretence of confidence. “’T is mostly wind one hears, and ’t will be another matter at the poll.  I rid over to say that tho’ we may not agree in private matters, ’t is the business of the gentry to make head together against this madness.”

“I see,” snarled Hennion.  “My boy ain’t good enuf fer yer gal, but my votes is a different story, heigh?”

“Votes for votes is my rule,” rejoined the squire.  “The old arrangement, say I. My tenants vote for ye, and yours for me.”

“Waal, this year theer ’s ter be a differ,” chuckled Hennion.  “I’ve agreed ter give my doubles ter Joe, an’ he’s ter give hisn ter me.”

“Joe!  What Joe?”

“Joe Bagby.”

“What!” roared the squire.  “Art mad, man?  That good-for-nothing scamp run for Assembly?”

“Joe ain’t no fool,” asserted Hennion.  “An’ tho’ his edication and grammer ain’t up ter yers an’ mine, squire, he thinks so like the way folks ere jest naow a-thinkin’ thet it looks ter me as if he wud be put in.”

“The country is going to the devil!” groaned Mr. Meredith.  “And ye’ll throw your doubles for that worthless—­”

“I allus throw my doubles fer the man as kin throw the most doubles fer me,” remarked Hennion.  “An’ I ain’t by no means sartin haow many doubles yer kin split this year.”

“Pox me, the usual number!”

“Do yer leaseholds all pay theer rents?”

“Some have dropped behind, but as soon as there ’s law in the land again they’ll come to the rightabout.”

“Exactly,” sniggered Hennion.  “As soon as theer ’s law.  But when ’s thet ‘ere goin’ ter be?  Mark me, the tenants who dare refuse ter pay theer rent, dare vote agin theer landlord.  An’ as Joe Bagby says he’ll do his durndest ter keep the courts closed, I guess the delinquents will think he’s theer candidate.  Every man as owes yer money, squire, will vote agin yer, come election day.”

“And ye’ll join hands with these thieves and vote with Bagby in Assembly?”

“Guess I mought do wus.  But if thet ’ere ‘s displeasin’ ter yer, jest blame yerself for ’t.”

“How reason ye that, man?”

“Cuz I had it arranged thet I wuz ter side in with the king, and Phil wuz ter side in with the hotheads.  But yer gal hez mixed Phil all up, so he’s turned right over an’ talks ez ef he wuz Lord North or the Duke of Bedford.  Consumaquently, since I don’t see no good of takin’ risks, I bed ter swing about an’ jine the young blood.”

What the squire said in reply, and continued to say until he had made his exit from the Hennion house, is far better omitted.  In his wrath he addressed a monologue to his horse, long after he had passed through the gate of Boxley; until, in fact, he met Phil, to whom, as a better object for them than Joggles, the squire at once transferred his vituperations.

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